The Futures Are Here

August 21, 2020

The Futures Are Here
by Lxs INVASORIX [1]

Lxs INVASORIX, Nadie aquí es ilegal / Here no one is illegal (2014)


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Lxs INVASORIX, Nadie aquí es ilegal / Here no one is illegal (2014)

 

We are all guests on mother planet Earth. [2] Living among us are the ghosts of all of the murdered border-crossing earthlings. We live among the shadows of cages in the borderlands. No one here is neutral.

Since 2013, we’ve been stationed in Mexico City on mother planet Earth. Yes, for us the planet is female! From here, we weave together networks with beings and places, we have intergalactic, multi-spatial, and poly-temporal encounters. According to the Gregorian calendar, we are 528 years old. We are not novices, but there is so much more to learn and unlearn from our mother planet!

By comparison with so many other species, the earthlings, as our imaginary friend Janine M. Benyus explains, “[are] basically this very young species, only 200,000 years old. [They]'re one of the newcomers.” [3] Us terrans cannot be essentialized, differentiated, delimited, mistreated, exploited, or capitalized. We must not build walls and start wars among ourselves, against other species and against mother Earth herself. Day by day, us terrans are driving ourselves to extinction. Day by day, our mother planet is damaged by earthlings who put their individual interests over the collective.

Nature attempts to balance the excesses of the earthlings. The mother planet, her nature, and her ecosystems, though they may be transformed, will outlast humanity. If we do not achieve and maintain a relationship of care, listening, and respect, mother Earth will be permanently and exponentially inhabited by troubling forces. Not everything that we can see is freely available for the consumption and satisfaction of the earthlings; we must stop invading, extracting, and occupying every seemingly available space on earth.

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Lxs INVASORIX, Nadie aquí es ilegal / Here no one is illegal (2014)

The futures are here. Now. In all the galaxies.

In our intergalactic and trans-temporal voyages, we have learned how crucial the practices of care and the forces of desire are for shaping futures that are not defined by violence; worlds, as the Zapatistas have taught us, “where many worlds can fit;” are worlds inhabited by the most vulnerable beings, and where human and nonhuman agents alike can flourish through their differences.

Our works are these voyages through time. For the video Nadie aquí es illegal/Here no one is Illegal (2014), we got together in Cerro de las Navajas in the community of Nopalillo, in the state of Hidalgo, Mexico. This space awakened our memories of other intergalactic voyages! There, we shared sounds, voices, words, games, exercises, and movements.

Being on Earth, we realized that there are many worlds with many centers and even more worlds with no fixed location; everything is changing and adapting at all times. In these worlds-in-motion, earthlings coexist within a space of contention they call the atmosphere. This is a kind of membrane that allows sounds to travel and be heard, light to issue forth and spread, climates to be formed, and the Earth’s multisensorial perception to unfold from a relational singularity.

Perspectives, perceptions, and visions on Earth must start with the experience and conscience about forms of discrimination and oppression against women and other social subjects for reasons of class, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, migratory status, or level of education. There are so many socially-constructed categories that give order to and organize the bodies of earthlings and their behaviors on mother planet Earth! All products of the white supremacist, capitalist, colonialist, monopolist patriarchy.

In the 360 degrees and 86,400 seconds from one day to the next, there are as many horizons as there are ways of being and existing: standing on our feet, doing a handstand, in a seated position; it is possible to fall, to dance and to fly. With so many options, the earthlings have no reason to settle for following a “true” north. On this mother planet we can determine our focus and vision according to the horizon we seek to project.

We have learned that the horizon is an abstract line that separates the Earth from the Milky Way. If this line, following the mathematical space of the Earth, is actually a circumference, how does that affect the practices of horizontality?

As we approach one horizon we become more distanced from another, thus our perspective is always shifting. This is the potentiality of horizontality, thanks to which all earthlings are responsible for the worlds they shape. It is with our imagination and thought that we build our actions and sketch out our visions. Our dreams take place in the present. The practices of horizontality merit new visions, narratives, imaginaries and trans-spatial-temporal practices. We concur with Anzaldúa when she tells us that it is urgent to imagine new forms of identity for the earthlings, which is why it is important for them to change their perceptions and ways of relating with the environment, other species and among themselves.

We are stationed in Mexico City, part of a territory referred to as Latin America. Latin America, we have learned, is a category that is neither essentialist nor homogenous. It is a political locus of enunciation, collaboration, resistance and resilience, with multiple struggles by indigenous, peasant, women and trans people, all of whom have defended their bodies and have adhered to their practices in spite of centuries of attacks by the extractivist political regime of the colonial patriarchy, as our imaginary friend Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar would say. [4]

In the forested areas of Mexico city today we can still familiarize ourselves with this territory’s endemic species such as axolotls, Sierra Madre sparrows, volcano rabbits, rattlesnakes, ring-tailed cats, biznaguita cactus, sacred firs, orchids and Moctezuma cypresses. However, due to terran agency, species that have inhabited this territory since before earthlings are now in danger of extinction. Other species, the small and collaborative ones, have found ways to adapt over time. There is much to learn from them! Take, for example, this description of starlings from adrienne amree brown: “Starlings. The synchronized movements patterns of starling flock is also known as murmuration. Guided by simple rules, starling murmurations can react to their environment as a group without a central leader orchestrating their choices; in any instant, any part of the flock can transform the movement of the whole flock. Collective leadership/partnership. Adaptability.” [5]

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Lxs INVASORIX, Nadie aquí es ilegal / Here no one is illegal (2014)

Facing a horizon of planetary struggle we invoke the decolonizing forces of amuyt’aña. Our imaginary friend Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui invites us to reflect from a ch’ixi perspective on the worlds and circumstances of Latin America. The term ch’ixi “literally refers to mottled grey, formed from an infinitude of black and white points that are perceived as a unity but remain pure, separate.” [6] She proposes ch’ixi as “a way of thinking, of speaking, and of perceiving Earth’s multiplicity as an explosive and contentious force, which strengthens our capacity for thought and action.” [7] Instead of overcoming the contradictions of Earth, the challenge is to learn from all species and to join forces with them, to collectively approach joint horizons so that we can flourish through sustainability, collective leadership/partnership and adaptability. Rivera Cusicanqui explains that this is where the ch’ixi comes in, “the possibility to simultaneously make the individual compatible with the collective, the feminine with the masculine… We interact on all types of terrain. But we also maintain certain differentiated spaces. So the question is also how to coexist among different people by establishing places in which difference does not dissolve into the submission of one to the other, but rather remains as a kind of energy within the conflict itself.” [8]
 

Even if there is an illusion of the individuality of human beings, what is certain, as our imaginary friend Gloria Anzaldúa reminds us, is that the earthlings are a collection of cells, and they coexist corporeally with microorganisms that inhabit their interiors, as she explains: “We disregard the fact that we live in intricate relationship with others, that our very existence depends on our intimate interactions with all life forms.” [9] All species can teach us something that will help us better understand how to resist, envision, and collaborate. We continue to seek planets free from harassment, sexual abuse, rape, speciesism, or any other type of violence, disappearances, trans-femi-genocides, and extinctions. In the meantime, we are trying to shape the futures we want to experience during our stay on Earth.

Pleasure is shared to recreate. Our outfits make it possible to connect bodies with one another in multiple ways, so that we can tie together our earthly horizons. Forms of alliance that must be multiplied; before we continue crossing cosmic borders, we must fight to abolish borders on mother planet Earth and shape new futures. Here no one is illegal.


INVASORIX is a queer/cuir feminist working group that produces songs, videos, DIY publications, tarot readings, and performances. They are presently stationed in Mexico City, on planet Earth.

On Earth, through constant dialog among them with their imaginary friends—Gloria Anzaldúa, Silvia Federici, bell hooks, Pedro Lemebel, Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, María Sabina, Rita Laura Segato, Annie Sprinkle, etc.—and in collaborations with their real-life friends—Mariana Dávila “The Flavor Terrorist,” Dayra Fyha, Sonia Madrigal, Erandi Villavicencio, etc.—they question gender roles and the missions of artists, reflect on violence among the earthlings and against mother planet Earth, and envision alternative and/or utopian forms of being and existing.


Notes for a Horizon-tality: Toward the Possibility of Becoming Together as an Assemblage is a project that responds to our multiple and seemingly multiplying emergencies. Since the growing uncertainty of living in a world in crisis seems to continuously threaten the possibility of the future, this editorial initiative seeks to contribute to the growing scholarship on this topic from the perspective of Latin American contemporary art.


[1] Translator’s note: This essay was written from a queer and feminist perspective, in both its content and its use of gender-inclusive Spanish language. The very name of the collective illustrates the most common linguistic changes the authors make in a nod to gender inclusivity and a challenge to male-dominant gender norms: “Lxs Invasorix” is a variation on “Los Invasores” (The [Male or Mixed-Gender] Invaders) and “Las Invasoras” (The [Female] Invaders) that neutralizes these gendered terms. To further elaborate, the gender-neutral plural definite article “Lxs” (“The”) stands in for the grammatically-masculine plural definite article “Los,” by which a mixed-gender group with at least one biological male is assigned masculine definite articles in conventional Spanish, and/or “Las,” which is used to refer to an all-female group. “Invasorix” eliminates the gendered plural noun endings “-es” or “-as,” replacing them with the gender-neutral suffix “-ix.” Since these “x”’s and “ix”’s lose their meaning when translated into the non-gendered articles, nouns and adjectives of the English language, I have used italics to denote those terms the authors specifically chose to convert into gender-inclusive language.

[2] Translator’s note: Throughout this essay, the authors refer to “planet Earth,” which conventionally has masculine grammatical gender in Spanish (“el planeta Tierra”) in feminine terms (“la planeta Tierra),” which I have translated as “mother planet Earth.”

[3] Janine M. Benyus, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (New York, NY: William Morrow, 1997).

[4] Raquel Gutiérrez Aguilar, cited in Verónica Gago, “Eight Theses on the Feminist Revolution,” Revista Común, 6 March 2020, https://www.revistacomun.com/blog/ocho-tesis-sobre-la-revolucin-feminista.

[5] adrienne maree brown, EMERGENT STRATEGY: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds (Chico, Edinburgh:  AK Press, 2017), 46.

[6] Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Sociology of the Image: A Ch’ixi View of Andean History (Buenos Aires: Tinat Limón, 2015), 295.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, “A Call to Re-politicize Everyday Life,” la tinta, 27 February 2018,

https://latinta.com.ar/2018/02/silvia-rivera-cusicanqui-parte-1-llamado-....

[9] Anzaldúa, Light in the dark=Luz en lo oscuro (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2015), 76.